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Author Topic: Going clear: By Lawrence Wright is out.  (Read 10976 times)
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 05:54:14 PM »

                                         The WRAP

3 page interview


      Lawrence Wright: Why Tom Cruise Is Most Important Scientologist Since L. Ron Hubbard

Published: February 04, 2013

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/lawrence-wright-going-clear-scientology-headed-toward-reckoning-75851
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 06:00:07 AM »


                     Knopf U.S. investigating publishing Scientology tell-all in Canada

Ontario’s libel laws are much tougher on publishers than similar legislation in the U.S., where freedom of speech has a premium value

Lawrence Wright’s highly buzzed book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, may eventually be available in Canada, pending a review of Canadian libel laws and the book’s chances of being dragged into lengthy and expensive litigation by the Church of Scientology, says a spokesman for New York-based publisher Alfred A. Knopf.

“Knopf U.S. holds the Canadian rights to the book and due to the tight publishing schedule, a Canadian legal review was not completed at the time of the U.S. publication,” the company representative said in a prepared statement.

“Given the differing legal systems in the US and Canada, Knopf decided not to make the book available for distribution in Canada at the present time until such legal review is completed.”

Among the claims in the Pulitzer Prize winning author’s book released earlier this month are:

<bullet>The Church of Scientology comprises only 25,000 – 30,000 members, not the 8 million it claims, and allegedly has more than $1 billion in liquid assets.

<bullet>Founder L. Ron Hubbard, a sci-fi author, underwent a dental operation on New Year’s Day, 1938, and claimed that while under gas anesthetic the secrets of the universe had been revealed to him.

<bullet>Current Church leader David Miscavige is allegedly the inspiration for Tom Cruise’s character in the movie A Few Good Men. Miscavige also allegedly took charge of Cruise’s love life after his divorce from Nicole Kidman, setting up a fake audition for a movie role alongside the star. Katie Holmes was one of the contenders.

<bullet>Canadian screenwriter Paul Haggis, a Church member for more than 30 years, turned his back on Scientology for its anti-gay teachings, and has been relentlessly hounded ever since.

Ontario’s libel laws are much tougher on publishers than similar legislation in the U.S., where freedom of speech has a premium value, says University of Toronto Professor of Law Emeritus Jacob Ziegel.

And “not just publishers, but everyone who has something to do with the dissemination of the material in question, from the author to the book seller.

“Canada’s libel laws generally put publishers at considerable risk. . . They’re seriously antiquated and need to be changed.”

Canadian retail book chain Chapters Indigo, which briefly advertised the book for sale on its web site last week, is also steering clear of Going Clear.

“This book has not been published in Canada, nor has it been purchased by Indigo Books & Music Inc.,” the company said. The book has also been withheld in Britain, whose libel laws are even tougher on publishers than Canada’s.

The renowned litigious practices of the Scientology organization, which denounced the book as fallacious and factually deficient, didn’t stop Amazon.ca, the Canadian arm of Seattle-based Internet retailer Amazon.com, from making the book available across Canada on its web site last week, where it was being sold for $15.56 plus shipping and handling.

On Monday, however, the book was mysteriously marked “unavailable” on Amazon.ca, but was still for sale on Amazon.com, with no limitations.

The company did not respond to the Star’s request for an interview by press time.

This may be the first time the mere fear of libel action has blocked a book’s publication in Canada, says Bill Harnum, president of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP).

If the Church of Scientology is going to make a legal strike against Going Clear, it will likely be in Canada, because our libel laws are more favorable to alleged victims of defamation, book industry insiders say.

Those laws make Canada excellent libel chill territory, says Franklin Carter, editor and researcher for Canada’s Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

“Libel chill — the fear of getting sucked into an expensive, open-ended court battle for publishing something negative but true about a wealthy person or organization — isn’t new,” Carter says.

A recent decision (Grant Vs. Torstar Corp) that allows material published responsibly, and in the public interest, to be defended in defamation cases, has done little to mitigate the chill, he claims.

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2013/02/05/knopf_us_investigating_publishing_scientology_tellall_in_canada.html
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2013, 06:44:59 AM »

                       Hollywood Hot Shots, Scientology And A Story Worth The Risk In 'Going Clear'

In the 1970s, a young man named Paul Haggis was walking down a street in Ontario, Canada. He encountered a man peddling a book.

"And he handed the book to Paul, and he said, 'You've got a mind — this is the owner's manual,' " journalist Lawrence Wright tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And inside, there was a stamp saying 'Church of Scientology,' and Paul was intrigued, and he said, 'Take me there.' " Haggis soon became a member of the Church of Scientology — and he's a central character in Wright's new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

Haggis moved to Hollywood, where the church's deep penetration of the movie industry helped his career as a screenwriter. Eventually he went on to win Oscars for Crash and Million Dollar Baby.

He also advanced in the church. He contributed to it, publicly defended it — and was finally allowed to read some of its deepest secrets. And he told Wright about a disturbing experience: He was admitted to a special, tightly secured room to read top-secret pages by L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction writer who founded the church. "And in there, he talks about Xenu, the galactic overlord who at one point had ruled the universe," Wright says. "It was a universe actually very similar to ours but very overcrowded, and Xenu had to 'depopulate' the universe, so he brought in a number of people, ostensibly for tax audits, and froze them."

Haggis found this story of the universe to be "madness" — his word — but stayed in the Church of Scientology for years before finally leaving. The mystery of why so many people remain in the church was a major question that drove Wright to write his book.

"Going clear" refers to a stage of spiritual development in Scientology: Those who are Clear have freed themselves from "engrams," subconscious memories of past trauma. But to become Clear, a Scientologist must go through many therapy sessions, called "auditing."

"Between you and your auditor, there's a device," Wright says. "It's called an e-meter, and it's really one-third of a lie detector. You hold two metal cans in your hand, so imagine that you're with your therapist, but there's a lie detector."

Scientologists say the e-meter can measure the mass of your thoughts — and, says Wright, if you believe in the technology, outside criticisms of the religion aren't going to bother you, because auditing can be a transformative experience.

If that sounds like brainwashing, Wright says, there are indeed forms of what he calls "thought control" in Scientology, particularly within the clergy. "It's called the Sea Org, and many of them live inside a compound in Southern California, in the desert," he says. "The world outside is not very well-known to them. They've set aside their education, they're impoverished by their service, many of them have all their family members inside Scientology, and if they were to try to leave, no one in Scientology would ever speak to them again."

Sea Org members are also billed for "services rendered," Wright continues, an amount that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. "And if they decide to run away, usually, there's a team that goes after them and tracks them down and brings them back." Escapees, he adds, can be confined involuntarily in re-education camps, sometimes for years on end.

The FBI began to investigate and raid Scientology properties in the 1970s after allegations that the church was illicitly gathering information on people. Agents discovered one of the re-education camps, where dozens of people were being held and punished — but none of those people took the chance to escape or report on church practices. "It's their belief, their own will that holds people in Scientology, even oftentimes when they have been abused," Wright says.

Paul Haggis was never quite that fervent a believer — but he stayed, even though he found the story of Xenu to be "madness."

"He was glued into the community," Wright says. "His family was all deeply involved in it, it had helped him in his career. He felt that some of what they call 'technology' in Scientology, which is its approach to human behavior, had been helpful to him. And there was not a triggering event."

Not, that is, until Scientology threw its weight behind Proposition 8, California's attempt to ban gay marriage. Haggis has two gay daughters, Wright says, and one of them discovered that a Scientology church had signed a petition in support of the proposition. "And that enraged Paul, and he demanded that the church renounce it, and they wouldn't, and so he began an investigation," Wright says.

Scientology assiduously courts celebrities — and Haggis was the first celebrity to look into what outsiders were saying about the church, and the allegations of abuse that had surrounded it for years. Wright says Haggis was shocked, "and he decided he was going to leave, and leave noisily, as he said, sending an email to about 20 of his Scientology friends, with his resignation."

The church can ill afford to lose members, especially members as prominent as Haggis. While it pulls in large dollar amounts, Wright says Scientology is poor in members. "I think they're hemorrhaging members," he says. "Certainly, I've talked to a lot of former members who say they've left the church recently."

"Certainly, the two things Scientology has on its side are money and lawyers," he says of the notoriously lawsuit-happy church, "but those qualities won't save it if it can't find a way to bring new members into the fold."

Is Wright afraid of Scientology's fearsome legal reputation? "We've had a lot of letters from lawyers," he says. "But I went into this with my eyes open. I've been careful. I've done what I can to query the church about factual matters. It's been a very difficult relationship with them, often very hostile in tone on their part, but the thing is, it's an irresistible story, and for someone like me, the risk was worth it."

audio file here...  http://www.kunc.org/post/hollywood-hot-shots-scientology-and-story-worth-risk-going-clear
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2013, 09:43:41 PM »

                                Stephen Colbert Mocks Scientology, Interviews 'Going Clear' Author

Stephen Colbert had some trepidation about welcoming to his show Lawrence Wright, author of the new book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

“If their [the Church of Scientology] lawyers are as litigious as they say, my new book could be called Going Broke,” the Comedy Central host joked on Wednesday’s The Colbert Report. (The book contains portions critical of Scientology.)

Ahead of the interview, Colbert said he normally doesn’t trust religions outside of his Catholicism but began to rethink that after seeing Scientology’s Super Bowl ad.

PHOTOS: Scientology's Historic Hollywood Holdings

“That’s the religious big time. I don’t know how the Catholic Church is going to compete,” Colbert said. “The Pope is going to have to get some Clydesdales.”

“The Church of Scientology has had some recent public relations problems,” Colbert continued, before showing CNN segments accusing church head David Miscavige of cruel behavior.

Colbert said his show asked Miscavige for comment and received in response a watermelon stabbed with a knife and featuring a Post-It note reading “You.”

When Wright came out for his interview, Colbert asked him about the author’s allegations of abuse within the church. Wright claimed he’d interviewed 12 people who said they had suffered physical abuse while in the church.

STORY: Scientology Book Excerpt: 'The Church Had John Travolta Trapped'

“Wow, if I heard the Catholic Church had abused 12 people, I’d be out of there,” Colbert said.

Colbert said as a celebrity, one thing he admired about Scientology was the “great things” it had done for celebrities. “Tom Cruise has not aged,” Colbert said before asking if he should join the church.

Wright said the climate has changed since celebrities such as Cruise joined, opining that today “it’s the most stigmatized religion in the country” and would cause public relations problems for Colbert should he join.

The Colbert Report airs at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/stephen-colbert-mocks-scientology-interviews-419115



                                 Scientologys Deeper Secrets Exposed by Lawrence Wright

Tory Magoo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr2FyZJn2gI
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2013, 10:02:58 PM »

                                             Scientology Exposed

The Exhaustively Researched Tell-All the World's Been Waiting For

The world has been waiting such a long time—decades!—for something like this book, and now that it's finally arrived, I'm pleased to report that it's just as good as we could've hoped. Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief is a great journalistic achievement—a comprehensive history of L. Ron Hubbard and his Church of Scientology, from its inception in the late 1940s to today, constructed with what appears to be airtight reportage.

That "airtight reportage" bit is important because, as the book details, the Church of Scientology has sued people who have dared to write about it. But the book incorporates pieces of Wright's New Yorker profile of screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, an outspoken former Scientologist, and that story remains unchallenged by the church's attorneys to this day. (The meeting between the church's legal and PR representatives, Wright, and a ragtag collection of the New Yorker's editors and fact-checkers is the book's climactic scene; that there have been no repercussions for Wright thus far make the scene, thankfully, a kind of anticlimax.)

For nearly four hundred pages, Wright grabs hold of the church's most sacred beliefs and cheerfully dismantles them, beginning with the story of its founder, sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard. From what I can tell, Scientology considers Hubbard to be the greatest man who ever lived, a cross between Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, with some Indiana Jones and Captain America slathered on top, but Wright paints a much darker portrait. The Hubbard we're introduced to—who comes across as an egomaniacal compulsive liar, a man who beat one wife and abandoned a child he had with another woman—is pretty much the height of heresy for the church. Wright notes in the acknowledgments that it's been decades since any author has attempted a Hubbard biography, because former attempts have been discredited or suppressed by the church's lawyers.

With the heart of the Scientology story turned inside out, Wright then lays the whole church bare. He loosely outlines the outlandish beliefs of the church, which slowly become revealed to inductees as they contribute more money and climb the ladder of self- improvement, as dictated by half-assed therapy sessions performed on the church's pseudoscientific "E-Meters." (If I had one wish for the book, it's that Wright would spend more time explaining the full science-fiction story of the church, with its "tyrannical overlord named Xenu" and its central myth, which begins "seventy-five million years ago in the Galactic Confederacy, which was composed of seventy-six planets and twenty-six stars.")

But the Church of Scientology is obviously more interested in terrestrial stars. Wright explains the great lengths to which the church has gone to keep their most visible member, Tom Cruise, happy. Those close ties between the church and Cruise can't help but alter your perception of the movie star. I can't think of Cruise now without also picturing the terrible crimes for which Wright blames the church—blackmail, human rights violations like kidnapping people who tried to escape the church, and forcing people into inhumane work conditions that sound more like slavery than anything else. These are serious allegations, and certain precautions must be taken. Thus, the narrative is spiked throughout with short footnotes inserted for the sake of legal protection: "Cruise's attorney says that no Scientology executives set him up with girlfriends," "The church characterizes this as an attempt at extortion," and "The church denies that Miscavige has ever abused members of the church."

Which brings us to the church's second (and present) leader, David Miscavige. Miscavige is the kind of blessing that is granted only once in a journalist's life—a stereotypical villain, a perfectly unbelievable figure in the flesh. (Hell, even his last name sounds like something terrible that happens to you by accident.) The Miscavige portrayed in Going Clear is an out-and-out monster. He physically abuses his subordinates, he makes sure that anyone who opposes him—including his wife—gets sent away to de facto prison camps, and the church's forced-work laborers, who earn pennies a day, are expected to buy extravagant birthday gifts for him. You won't find a more hate-worthy villain in a book this year. recommended

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/scientology-exposed/Content?oid=15934889
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 09:42:12 PM »

                  'Clearly' chilling: Cult or religion, Scientology gets the Wright stuff

2 page review...

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130209/NJENT07/302090011/-Clearly-chilling-Cult-or-religion-Scientology-gets-the-Wright-stuff?nclick_check=1
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2013, 04:57:56 PM »

                                                  Scientology: Scary or Sacred

"I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." -- L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology founder.

"I have to remain celibate to keep my instrument pure." -- Tom Cruise to his then-wife, Nicole Kidman.

These are just two of the oh-so-juicy morsels that New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright includes in his expansive and ultra-detailed audio and print book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

This is certainly not the first exposé of Scientology -- although it might qualify as the most abundant. Time magazine, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV are among the many who've taken on this most controversial of religions since its beginnings in the mid-1950s. The head of The Cult Awareness Network in Chicago, says, "Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen."

Be assured Wright reports all of the bizarre and the requisite showbiz celebrities involved in Scientology: Cruise, Travolta, Will Smith, Kirstie Alley and screen writer Paul Haggis, et al. (To see other Scientologist celebrities: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/60-famous-people-you-didn't-know-were-scientologists/)

Many call this religion a scary cult. To his credit, the writer includes the group's frequent responses and denials over the years to its many critics. But, make no mistake, Going Clear is a serious take-down of what emerges on these pages as a most peculiar outfit.
The barrages here include intimidation, bribery, blackmail, cruelty, brutality and, yes, M-U-R-D-E-R!

The late L. Ron Hubbard, who called himself The Commodore and dressed accordingly, comes under intense scrutiny as a fellow with "malignant narcissism and grandiosity." He's described as personally brutal -- often punching his subordinates in the face. His son, Quentin killed himself, he disowned one of his daughters and his wife went to jail.

Morton Sellers' narration is a good reason to go with the Random House audiobook edition of Going Clear. Because of the amped-up content, it would be easy to convey a partisan interpretation. Instead, Sellers delivers a clean, objective tone.

Wright piles on so many first and second-hand accounts, plus every different angle and conspiracy theory, that it sometimes puts this expansive report in Oliver Stone/JFK territory -- meaning the excess of possibilities diminishes its impact.

Cynics might come away from this parade of Scientology's singular disclosures agreeing with a line from a Preston & Child's audiobook, The Cabinet of Curiosities: "Humiliation and blackmail when used judiciously, can be marvelously effective."

Scientologists' repeated position is that their religion suffers the same skepticism and attacks all religions have faced. If you join Scientology, you sign a BILLION year contract -- which does underscore their message that you, or some form of you, will be around that long. Is that sort of like other religions' notion of an eternal soul?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-alderman/scientology-scary-or-sacr_b_2672110.html
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« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2013, 10:02:40 AM »

                   NRP Best sellersWeek of Feb. 14, 2013


http://www.npr.org/books/bestsellers/hardcover-nonfiction/2013/week7/?ft=1&f=1032
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2013, 10:00:19 AM »



Report Video Issue

                                         Book Discussion on Going Clear    VIDEO
Jan 24, 2013


Politics and Prose Bookstore
Lawrence Wright, staff writer for the New Yorker, talked about his book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, in which he reports on the Church of Scientology. In his book, the ..

58 minutes

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/310573-1
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2013, 06:14:46 PM »

                                      Lawrence Wright on Scientology, 'Going Clear'
11:06 AM, February 18, 2013

Larger view
(Book cover courtesy of publisher)
Guests

    Lawrence Wright: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and staff writer for The New Yorker.



Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright is out with a new book investigating the world of Scientology. In "Going Clear," Wright takes a look at the religion through a number of characters, exposing some of the inner-workings of the organization.

From The A.V. Club review:

    In accessible, straightforward prose that does a fine job of rendering Scientology's sometimes convoluted core concepts understandable, Wright captures its horrors and abuses, but also the seductive glamour. It's a belief system with a sense of infinite possibilities in this world and the next, wedded to a life-affirming sense of community among true believers united in fighting for our planet's salvation.

    In spite of its occasional excesses and redundancies, Going Clear is simultaneously a fearless, compelling, exhaustive work of muckraking journalism and a masterpiece of storytelling. It's a ripping yarn about ego, money, abuse, faith, and the corrupting nature of power when wielded by the wrong people. It's as lurid, pulpy, and preposterous-seeming as anything Hubbard or Haggis ever wrote, but it's much better, because it has the benefit of being true.

Wright joins The Daily Circuit Monday, Feb. 18 to discuss his new book.


http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/02/18/daily-circuit-lawrence-wright-scientology-going-clear


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130219/us-book-review-going-clear/?utm_hp_ref=entertainment&ir=entertainment
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2013, 07:32:50 AM »

                                     A clear look at Scientology and its believers

 Saturday, February 23, 2013

                               The Palladium Times


"Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief" (Alfred A. Knopf), by Lawrence Wright Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright's new book about Scientology, its origins, its evolution and its believers, is a powerful piece of reportage. It is detailed, intense and at times shocking. But it's not merely an indictment of one of the world's newest faiths — Scientologists deny many parts of the book — it's also a reminder of the dangers of combining faith with fear, and the foolishness of choosing to believe anything blindly.

http://www.palltimes.com/news/religion/article_62f66486-0b3f-5f26-a8bd-2ab11bc22f92.html
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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2013, 07:44:44 AM »

                                Lawrence Wright on Texas PBS Show  TV

    This is a recent and good interview on Overheard with Evan Smith, an Austin, Texas PBS Show. Wright maintains a residence in Austin.



http://video.klru.tv/video/2330522963/
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2013, 09:52:34 AM »

                        Pulitzer Winner Sheds Light on Scientology, Reveals Abuse and IRS 'War'
February 28, 2013

Video...article

http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/religion/pulitzer-winner-sheds-light-on-secretive-celebrity-church-of-scientology-reveals-abuse-and-irs-war.html
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2013, 07:29:58 AM »

                            Pulitzer Prize winner confronts his hero through ‘Fallaci’

By Adam Brinklow

Lawrence Wright is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and the much buzzed-about Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and The Prison of Belief.

His new play Fallaci (world premiere March 8 at Berkeley Rep) is a fictionalized account of the last days of legendary Italian journalist-provacateur Oriana Fallaci as she confronts her own mortality as well as the skepticism of a young journalist who questions her methods and legacy. San Francisco Magazine talked to Wright about how he faced up to his hero.

What does someone like Fallaci, an audacious reporter whose heyday was the ‘70s and ‘80s, have in common with L. Ron Hubbard, the subject of your latest book, or Osama bin Laden, whom you wrote about in ‘The Looming Tower’?
They all set out to change the world, and in some ways they did. In the case of Fallaci I wanted to find out the real motivations under her brash, confident exterior. [As a young journalist] I was overwhelmed with admiration for her. She was a small, sexy woman and she could stand down world leaders and make them cower. She made journalism sexy......

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/03/05/pulitzer-prize-winner-confronts-his-hero-through-fallaci/
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2013, 07:36:41 AM »

               
Tuesday March 5
                                   Talking Scientology: A Q&A with Going Clear Author Lawrence Wright
By Kristin Fritz


http://www.everydayebook.com/2013/03/talking-scientology-a-qa-with-going-clear-author-lawrence-wright/
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